In the late 1930s, teenage cattle rancher Anchor Johnson and his buddies landed their rickety plane down the straight chute where Roussanne is now planted. The young men would park the plane under the oak tree at the end of the dirt strip. Roussanne rows now run lengthwise along the old runway, creating the inspiration for the lanes on the L’Avion label.
Wine destined for L’Avion must go through three cuts. First, only the two older blocks of Roussanne are eligible for L’Avion. Then, only the prettiest, evenly “Rousse” - or sun tanned - clusters are selected by Cuadrilla. Last, we include only our favorite barrels for L’Avion. At the end of the day, L’Avion accounts for 25-33% of our total Roussanne production each year.
The mellow weather in 2014 led to a supple, rich L’Avion. Certainly one of the headiest, outright impressive L’Avion bottlings to date. Lately, a pattern has developed with even numbered vintages 08,10,12,14 becoming intense and coating, with odd numbered vintages showing more restraint.
The warm sun-drenched summer and fall gave Cuadrilla plenty of time to pull leaves away from the fruit and then hand-rotate each cluster – efforts aimed at achieving the namesake “Rousse” rust color sun tan.
AT THE WINERY
Crushed and then pressed directly into new 500L French puncheons. Racked once after malolactic fermentation, L’Avion spent an extended 20 months aging in the oak prior to being bottle unfiltered. The use of new oak frames the rich Roussanne – structure to support long-term aging.
Palate of honeysuckle, poached pear drizzled with Caramel, and ripe golden pineapple backed with yummy umami notes of nori and sea brine. A deep toasty profile compliments brioche and Crème Brulee flavor. The dessert motif continues with a lingering vanilla bean ice cream on the finish, but amazingly enough, this wine is fermented dry, without detectable residual sugar. Prepared to be blown away.